ECHL teams are always giving back to their local communities. Here’s a look at some recent events from select teams.
Bakersfield– On Nov. 18, Sebastien Sylvestre and Gabriel Verpaelst visited Vineland Elementary to speak to the children in the after school program. They answered questions on why they pursued hockey and how they became successful athletes. The players signed autographs and took pictures with the kids, who were also thrilled to meet the mascot Baby Cal! On Nov. 29, the Condors held their annual Teddy Bear Toss, which collected stuffed animals for 58 different Non-Profit organizations throughout Kern County, California. The Condors collected 7,376 stuffed animals, the fifth-highest total in the 16 years they have been doing the Teddy Bear Toss. With the incredible attendance turnout and outstanding participation from Condors fans, the event was the top story on ESPN.
Fort Wayne – On Nov. 21, the Komets hosted their “Teddy Bear Toss” and collected 2,149 stuffed animals for the Disorderly Bear Den and Lutheran Children’s Hospital. The team visited the Children’s Hospital on Dec. 3 to distribute some of the stuffed animals that were collected. The Komets hosted “Tip A Komet” at Applebees on Nov. 25 and raised over $1,200 in tips to be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Komets will have another Tip a Komet event later in December.
Greenville – On Nov. 12, three Road Warriors’ players, along with assistant coach Brian Gratz and front office staff, held the first Face-Off for Fitness at Bethel Elementary After School Program. There were stations set up featuring stick handling, the Road Warriors slapshot cage and a players’ full set of game gear. Coach Gatz used a food pyramid to show kids how to eat healthy. On Nov.21, General Manager Chris Lewis, Director of Corporate Partnerships Erica Marett and Rowdy attended the Ice on Main Press Conference. The city of Greenville has constructed this mini ice rink in an open space downtown. The Mayor hosted the press conference which also featured performances by local choir groups, performances by a local skating group and an appearance by Santa.
Ontario – The Reign held their Military Appreciation Night on Nov.8 and wore specialty jerseys which were auctioned off to benefit various veteran organizations. The auction raised over $31,000 to be donated to Stater Brothers Charities to be distributed appropriately. On Nov. 12, the Reign had a Kids Club event at Laser Island. Members of the Reign online kids club newsletter were invited to attend this event and play laser tag with six of the Reign players.
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Toledo – On Nov. 22, the Walleye hosted the Evansville IceMen for “Heroes Night”. The specialty jerseys worn by the two teams garnered tremendous media coverage as well as funds for a great cause. The Walleye wore Batman Jerseys and the IceMen wore Riddler jerseys. These special jerseys were auctioned off after the game with proceeds being split among three charities; MDA, the March of Dimes and the Walleye Wishing Well. One jersey was even autographed by the original Batman, Adam West! These special jerseys helped raise over $29,000 for the special causes. Before this game, there was the annual Battle of the Badges hockey game, with the Toledo Police Department beating the Toledo Fire Department. On Nov. 18, six Walleye players spent the afternoon at Anderson’s store in Maumee, Ohio, “ringing the bell” for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. While raising funds for the needy cause, the players also raised awareness for the need for volunteers throughout the holiday season.